Meet the Owners

Sam & Jackie McCord

Sam & Jackie McCord

Chef Sam McCord started at the age of 15 working in restaurant and hotel kitchens and front-of-the-house operations. His passion for food quickly drew him to New York and then to Paris where he worked in several 2-star Michelin restaurants. Chef McCord was courted to New Orleans by The Royal Sonesta Hotel to be their Chef de Cuisine. It was at the Royal Sonesta that Sam met and married Jackie, a hospitality executive.

Jackie spent nearly 10 years in the hospitality industry working as a Front Desk Manager, Sales Assistant and Assistant Manager. She left the hospitality industry to pursue her passion in education. Jackie was a first-grade teacher at St. Paul’s Episcopal School for 13 years, where she actually taught children of the lawyer, engineer and contractor who helped make McCord Butchery happen. She has also worked as a student teacher at Hynes Elementary, and substitute and maternity-leave teacher at Isidore Newman.

Sam has worked as Chef de Partie, Saucier, Poissonnier, Butcher and Executive Chef in New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia. Chef McCord recently served as Center of the Plate Consultant for Halperns’ Purveyors of Steak and Seafood, consulting with Hilton, Avendra and Al Copeland properties on restaurant, hotel and catering products and preparations.

Chef McCord is excited to introduce his French culinary training into a classic European butcher shop environment. Jackie will lend her hospitality experience to the front of the house, assisting customers with smart wine pairings, hints on preparation and delicious crowd-pleasers including locally-sourced cheeses, imported charcuterie and caviars. Sam will be sharing recipes and techniques from some of the top restaurants in the world including Begue’s, La Cote Basque, L’Arpege and the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center.

McCord’s is excited to offer restaurant-quality SDA Prime beef, milk-fed veal, domestic and imported lamb, wild games, local poultry, rabbits and duck.

Our job is to introduce you to proteins that make all your meals taste better. And that doesn’t mean expensive. We promise to get you the freshest (never frozen) meat, fresh seafood and poultry for prices that compete with any local grocery store or butcher. Come see us at McCord Butchery.

– Sam McCord

Meet the Team

Robert Holmes

Robert Holmes, Butcher

Robert has extensive experience in the industry as a Butcher, Prep Cook, Baker, Saucier, Charcutier, Pastry Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Chef de Cuisine.

Prior to taking over New Orleans’ kitchens, Robert served in the United States Marine Corps at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

The long list of places where Robert has demonstrated his skill includes the Maison Dupuy Hotel, the Omni Royal Orleans, Grand Isle Restaurant, Borgne Restaurant, Red Fish Grill, Chez Nous Catering and Bakery, Mr. B’s Bistro, Nelson’s Restaurant, Alex Patout’s La. Kitchen, Treasure Chest Casino, Graham Enterprises and NOLA Restaurant. 

Robert has vast experience in all areas and phases of food preparation and service. His dedication to consistency and attention to detail are sure to be reflected in the quality of our products at McCord Butchery.

Gail Varuso

Gail Varuso, Front of House

Gail brings immense experience from the food and beverage industry to the McCord Butchery team! Gail launched her career in hospitality on the opening team of the 1984 World Fair. Following that, she served as Sales & Catering/Convention Services Manager at Sheraton Hotel for 11 years where part of her duties included planning menus and selecting wines for her clients.

After leaving Sheraton, Gail gained experience at Freeman Decorating and House of Blues as Director of Event Sales for 12 years. She became the opening General Manager at the Civic Theatre and developed an upscale beverage program. Gail joined Ralph Brennan Catering and Events in 2015 as Director of Catering Sales, overseeing private bookings and representing Cafe NOMA’s beverage program. She joined the board of New Orleans Wine & Food Experience in 2015 and served as President in 2018.

Gail’s experience and passion for food and beverage adds to the quality of McCord’s customer service. When you stop by, Gail will be ready to recommend the best drink to accompany your meal and make sure you have what you need!